My Corner of the World

My Corner of the World -

Beer-Battered Fish

Yesterday was Good Friday and since my uncle and cousin were coming down for supper, Brad and I tried something a little different than just making fish sticks.

My uncle had brought us frozen fish (raw, 1.2 kg, just under  2 3/4 lbs of both sole and basa) when he came down for lunch earlier in the day.  My original thought was I’d throw it in a little flour, salt and pepper and pan fry it.  This evolved.

Brad was going to make french fries in the deep fryer.  If anything is going to be deep fried, he’s the one who looks after it because I’m too delicate and don’t like getting burnt by little splatters of oil hahaha.  I got the idea to try battered fish in the deep fryer.  Brad had never deep fried fish like that and didn’t know how it would turn out.  I’m glad I stuck with that idea.  The recipe turned out great and that confidence I had in Brad’s deep frying abilities paid off.  He did a great job of it! :-)

I made the recipe below which I got from Canadian Living, however I modified it.  I did not use cayenne pepper.  Instead I used lemon pepper (about a teaspoon).  I was pretty sure I had read once somewhere that lemon chicken was often made with corn starch to get that kinda puffy blown up texture, so guess what I added to the recipe…  ;-)  For something that was a “let’s see what happens with it” idea, this made the world of difference.  Those 3 rounded tsp of cornstarch gave that fish such an airy puffy texture that made it awesome :-)  Next time I think I’ll go a little heavier on the lemon pepper by doubling it and I’ll probably add about a 1/2 or 3/4 tsp of salt.

A word about the batter that is remaining.  You’ll probably have some leftover batter.  I added enough flour to it to make a sticky dough out if and had Brad drop spoonfuls of it in the deep fryer.  It made little balls of dough kinda like dumplings but not as fluffy.  They were still good to swipe through the remaining salad dressing and tartar sauce on plates.  Next time though, I think I will have an apple or firm banana around and cut up 1-2″ chunks of whatever fruit I decide to use and stick into each ball of dough with some brown Splenda and cinnamon to see how that goes.  I think it will go very well!

So without further adieu, here’s the final recipe from yesterday’s fish feast!  If anyone wants, they can modify it as they see fit :-)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, extra flour (about a cup)for dredging
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3 rounded tsp corn starch
  • 2 bottles (each 341 ml) beer
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

Preparation:

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, corn starch, and lemon pepper; whisk in beer until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes. 

In deep fryer or deep pot, pour in enough oil to come no more than halfway up side; heat to 375 F (190 C) on deep-fryer thermometer or until 1-inch (2.5 cm) cube of white bread turns golden in 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, cut fillets into serving-size pieces. Dredge fish in remaining flour, shaking off excess; dip into batter to coat. Deep-fry fish, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Serve with lemon wedges, lemon juice, or tartar sauce.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins (with Walnuts)

I made a double batch of these today and they’re quite good!  This is the recipe for a single batch (makes a dozen muffins).  They’re not very sweet which is nice but if you do like it a bit more sweet, add a little more brown Splenda to the mix or just put some kind of icing on it.  I used Betty Crocker French Vanilla icing on a few of them and it’s quite yummy :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c rolled oats (preferably not quick oats, but hey, if that’s all you have, give it a whirl)
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 rounded tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c brown Splenda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 mashed large bananas
  • 1/3 c. melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About a half cup of walnuts (more or less as you wish)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a muffin pan (you’ll need 12 wells).  Mix first 8 ingredients (the dry stuff) in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients except walnuts (so the wet ingredients).  Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix, but just until it’s mixed (don’t over mix).  Mix in walnuts and divide it into the muffin pan. Bake for about 13 minutes at 375.  Check with a toothpick and adjust baking time if necessary.

Fish Chowder

My cousin Tommy used to make amazing fish chowder.  Back in those days, it was usually made with the fish that he actually caught (often Walleye).  I haven’t been fishing since I was a teen so I won’t be making it with fresh fish anytime soon.   Today I used frozen fish (Haddock works well, Alaskan Pollock, and I tried it today with Tilapia).  Tommy died a few years ago, so I got the recipe from my cousin Tim since he also has made it in the same manner as Tommy.   So here it is (roughly).  It makes a big pot so judge accordingly if you want to make a half batch etc.  The trick to getting the creaminess is soaking a couple of tubes of soda biscuits in condensed milk.  Don’t try to cut corners and use regular milk – it will not produce the same texture, it’ll be watery and nowhere near as good.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 lbs of raw diced potatoes (about 3/4″ cubes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • About 2 lbs of whatever fish you want to use, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 2 cans condensed (unsweetened) milk – you can use 3 if you want it milkier
  • 2 tubes of soda biscuits (I used salted)
  • About a litre of water
  • A little oil.

Preparation:

In a large bowl, dump the contents of soda biscuit tubes and cover with the condensed milk.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, sautée the onions in the oil.  When they’re translucent, add potatoes and enough water to cover them by about an inch.  Boil potatoes until they’re almost cooked (about 20 min.).  Add fish and salt and boil until cooked (about 5 min.).  Carefully add condensed milk and soda biscuits to the stock pot and heat for 5 min. on low heat (you don’t want to scorch it!).  Serve hot.  I like to garnish with bacon bits but it’s not necessary.

Biscuits/Dumplings

Mmmmm dumplings…  This is a quick recipe that I make either dumplings or biscuits out of.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour (although whole wheat also works)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cold margarine or butter
  • Milk, about a cup but you’ll have to use a judgment call

Preparation:

Mix first 3 ingredients. Add cold butter/margarine and cut in with a pastry blender. Slowly add milk and mix until it has a doughy consistency (just past crumbly, but be careful not to put too much in to make it thin). Don’t over mix! Once it’s combined, stop otherwise, they might not rise well.

Biscuits: Preheat oven to 350F. Drop batter by the tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 18 minutes (depending on how hot your oven runs and altitude).

Dumplings: Drop batter by the tablespoon into gently boiling chicken broth (or whatever broth you prefer) and cover. Don’t overfill the pot, don’t pile them on top of each other either. Let them boil gently for about 20 minutes and eat hot. They should be nice and fluffy. It will likely make a nice gravy in the broth that’s remaining. Adding chicken and frozen veggies to the “gravy” makes a very nice meal with the dumplings.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

I came across this recipe and tried it. The rolls really are amazing! So soft and tasty. I used bread machine yeast and they turned out very nice! I wanted to get the ingredients in my own post in the event the original post ever goes offline for whatever reason. The rolls are *that* good! :-) So here goes…

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp quick rise yeast (bread machine yeast works too)
  • melted butter for brushing buns with

Preparation:

All ingredients go into the bread machine in order. When the dough is done, preheat the oven to 375 (350 works, just increase bake time a few minutes), and cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll into balls, place on baking sheet, and brush with melted butter.  Let them rise for about 20 minutes in a warm spot (I like to turn the oven on for a minute at 200 F, turn it off, then shove them in there.  Bake at 375 for 12 – 15 minutes (350 for 18 minutes works too) on middle or upper rack. Optional: add garlic powder, Parmesan, or whatever toppings you want before placing in oven.

Note:  I tried this with whole wheat flour (Five Roses or Robin Hood, I can’t remember which brand but it was one of those two).  It is fantastic!  I also took half the dough to make rolls then the other half to make a loaf (I did it for a white batch and a whole wheat batch).  Same temperature and time for the loaf as the bread.  Awesome!  And it makes really good toast.  Hubby and I are really impressed with this recipe.

Third Party Links for Recipes

Just a few notes… Some of these recipes are too high in calories; I’m notorious for making substitutions. Some of these I’ve tried, many I have not… yet :-) I keep this list so I can reference when I do want to make some of these things. Of the items I have made, both my husband and I like them, a few though are more for my taste buds than his. Since these links are on third party sites which I have no control over, I’m not responsible for dead links. I’ll try to update them on my own site when possible. And now, on with the list! Sweets

Sides

Snacks and Appetizers

Salads and Slaws

Breads & Biscuits

Slow Cooker

Sauces, Salsas, and Dips

Meat

Drinks

Breakfast

Soups and Stews

 

Pumpkin Pudding

Although I’m not longer diabetic, I still look for ways to keep my blood sugar from spiking without compromising on taste.  I found a great slow cooker recipe and modified it with substitutions which keep my blood sugar relatively steady.  I love this pudding; it’s similar in taste to pumpkin pie but with fewer calories since there’s no crust.  I’ve used both canned pumpkin purée and today’s batch was made with fresh pumpkin from our garden (completely chemical/pesticide free!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pumpkin purée
  • 1 can of 2% evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup Splenda (baking type 1:1 ratio)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I make my own blend with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together very well and pour into a greased slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

I tried the pizza dough recipe from the manual that came with the bread machine.  I used whole wheat flour instead of bread flour that it called for.  I found it a little bit dry and ended up making a second batch but modified it a little.  I think it works better my way :-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (it still tastes good and if you need to watch your blood sugar, you’ll be better off)
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast

Preparation:

Put the ingredients in the bread machine in the order they appear above.  Set the bread machine on the dough cycle.  When it’s done, remove from the bread pan to a clean floured surface and let rest for 10 minutes.  Shape dough into a pizza or cut chunks to make pizza pockets.

Hot Cranberry/Apple Drink

cranappleI’m not sure what to call this…  Some people use apple cider, I used unsweetened apple juice for it.  I didn’t really use measurements, I just did a lot of taste testing until I got it the way I liked it.  I like a heavier clove taste so just cut it in half or so if you don’t.  If you find it too sweet, just add more water.

Ingredients:

  • About 3/4 large container of Diet Cranberry juice
  • About 1/2 large container of unsweetened apple juice
  • About 1.5 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • About a tsp. of ginger
  • About 15 to 25 whole cloves
  • About a tbsp. each of nutmeg and allspice
  • A half bag of cranberries

Preparation:

Put everything in the slow cooker, set it on high and let it heat up a while.   After, keep it on warm or low for hours and enjoy.

Chocolate Sauce

chocosauceI don’t think I’ll ever buy chocolate sauce again.  I found a very good recipe for it and modified it.  Instead of using sugar, I use Splenda (1:1 ratio).  It truly is fantastic and I find it thicker and chocolatier than Hershey’s, for example.  I made a double batch of it and it yielded about a half litre.  I used it in my homemade Irish Cream :-)  So here’s my take on it…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Fry’s)
  • 1 cup Splenda (1:1 ratio)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used course grey salt)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar until blended. Add the water and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and whisk over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly.

Continue boiling until mixture thickens, about 3 – 4 minutes. The mixture will still be fairly thin (it thickens to a syrup-like consistency once cool). Taste and stir in additional salt until dissolved, up to 1/4 teaspoon, if desired.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool.

Store syrup in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. The syrup should keep, refrigerated, for at least a month.